If ever a government’s priorities were required to shine brightly, it’s in Budget 2024, and to a large extent Minister McGrath has succeeded in doing this. His Budget Speech left no doubt that his twin objectives are to reduce Ireland’s dependence on foreign industry and to improve the housing market. Moreover, he looked like a man in a hurry.
When it comes to incentives for indigenous industry, we saw a dual strategy. For employees there’s lower income tax in the form of increased credits and an increase in the standard rate band while for their employers there was a multiplicity of measures.
Increased R&D credits, a new scheme for Angel investors, accelerated capital allowances for energy-efficient equipment and the increase in the ceiling for deductible investment in projects that qualify for the Employment Investment Incentive all of which point to the need to rebalance Ireland’s industry towards native enterprise. But of course the icing on the cake was the retention of the 12.5% rate of corporation tax for indigenous firms. It would have been a disaster to have lost it.
Increased tax credits for those who rent their homes and a temporary mortgage interest relief are aimed at easing the cost burden on those who already have a roof over their heads. The modest tax exemptions for existing landlords are an incentive for them to hang on to their investment properties. And the sharp increase in the Vacant Homes Tax is a nudge to those who are holding empty houses to get out and use them.
Residential Zoned Land Tax always looked like rushed business so the extension of the liability date will bring order to what could have been a chaotic affair.
All in all, this was a busy budget that wasn’t lacking in ambition for the domestic market. One, perhaps, for those who get up early in the morning?
To read our full Budget 2024 briefing click here.